River Cleanup

Nathan Machelett, left, and Brad Pettis stopped along the shore of the Bourbeuse River in Union to remove trash. The two were taking part in the annual operation Clean Stream event. This year 29 teams took part in the event and removed more than 200 bags of trash from the river.  Missourian Photo/Joe Barker.

The Bourbeuse River is a little cleaner after hundreds of volunteers took time to remove trash from the waters.

The volunteers hit the waters this past Saturday to take part in the 2018 Operation Clean Stream. Lisa Williams, Clean Stream board member said the event was a success.

The 33rd year of the event saw 29 teams signed up to gather and remove trash, tires and other refuse from the river.

Preliminary numbers for this year 215 people hit the river in nine boats, 86 canoes and 16 kayaks. More than 1,270 volunteer hours were put into the event.

The groups removed 316 regular-sized tires and 130 large tires.

Groups filled 179 bags with trash and recycling and collected 1,757 pounds of scrap metal.

Most of the numbers were down slightly this year. Last year, 398 regular-sized tires were found and over 200 bags were filled.

Williams said no flooding earlier this year likely reduced the amoutn of trash to be found.

Scrap metal, however, went up from 1,445 pounds collected last year to 1,757 pounds this year.

Bourbeuse River activities started with breakfast donated by the Beaufort Lions Club at the Lions Hall. The river was divided into 30 sections with a team captain responsible for recruiting volunteers.

The day’s cleanup activities ended with a hog roast picnic at the Lions Hall.

Trash from the Bourbeuse River was collected at the Beaufort Lions parking lot. Volunteers helped unload and sort all the refuse.

In addition to the standard trash like plastic and glass jugs and bottles, Williams said teams collected some unique items.

Every year a trophy is given to the winner of the most unique item found. Keith “Buck” Voss won this year for an old tackle box.

Voss found a full tackle box on a sandbar that had to be at least 25 years old. He said it was fully stocked with lures and other fishing gear, but also had two full wallets belonging to a father and son.

The wallets contained cards that expired in 1995 meaning the tackle box had been missing for some time.

The largest item found was a pipeline ball by Dave Groenke. Adam Pinnell collected the most tires with 53.

Williams said it was a “weird” year for tire pick ups. She said groups usually clean the same areas year after year. Some groups that regularly get a lot of tires didn’t, but others who don’t get many tires did.